'I'm better and the world knows it' - Usman claims superiority over champion Edwards ahead of UFC 286
Kamaru Usman claims he is the superior fighter between himself and Leon Edwards as they prepare for their trilogy bout at UFC 286.
The Nigerian suffered just a second career loss against his rival last August at UFC 278, seven years on from winning their first match.
A third encounter is set to take place at London's The O2 on Saturday, with Edwards out to defend the UFC Welterweight Championship he won in Utah.
Despite having lost his crown, Usman suggests he remains the better of the two, and insists both men are aware of his technical superiority.
"He's the champ, and I'll give that to him," Usman told Sky Sports. "But him and I know I will deal with him [on] March 18. I'm better and the world knows it.
"I've never been disrespectful with Leon. If anything, I've been the only guy that has given him respect all throughout his career.
"I'm not going to start [on him] now. He's said a couple [of] things that have offended me, but I'll talk to him about that on Saturday night."
Edwards is just the second British UFC champion, but Usman vows he will have home turf advantage in London among the Nigerian Diaspora.
"My fans, these are my fans," he added. "Everybody keeps saying you're coming to enemy territory, [but] I'm at home. This is London. These are my people here.
"They love me, they tell me all the time they want me to come to London and put on a performance for them.
"I asked for this, I could have waited and done it in Vegas. I love the support. That just goes to show how massive the sport is and how much it's growing.
"I love it, whether they're screaming for me or against me."
Edwards is also claiming homecoming rights however, and is relishing a chance to fight in front of British support just as much as his rival.
"I enjoy the moments," he added. "This is my fifth or sixth main event, so I've been in a main fight before. I understand it's a power fight, but it's the same cage, the same Usman.
"I know it's going to be crazy, but let's not overcomplicate it. It's going to be a packed arena and I get to enjoy it with my family. That's the only difference to me, more friends and family there."